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No Propane Heaters Allowed

October 21, 2021

Last year the NYC Hospitality Alliance successfully advocated to allow restaurants and bars to temporarily use propane heaters to help keep customers warm while dining outdoors when indoor dining was shut down or at reduced capacity, a practice strongly prohibited by the FDNY in normal times.

While there were no reported safety incidents, after extended review, the city has announced that they will NOT again allow the use of propane heaters this season, due to safety considerations. We know this announcement is a blow to restaurants hoping to use propane heaters again as they’re still trying to recover from the pandemic. 

The use of electric and natural gas heaters is still permitted in accordance with city guidelines. The city will do an education campaign with businesses on transitioning to electric or natural gas before January, which may be an option for some, but we know is not feasible for all restaurants. 

The FDNY will hold off on propane removal and fines, except for the most egregious cases, until the new year.

The Department of Small Business Services will offer grants up to $5,000 to help switch to gas or electric for participating Open Restaurants with revenue of $1M or less (additional details we hope to be released soon). 

We will update you if there are any additional changes made.